"We’ve normalised them, but it isn’t okay."
Rashmika Mandanna delved into the dangers of deepfake videos, highlighting their growing normalisation.
Deepfake material has been on the rise in India, as the culture of AI seems to grow throughout Bollywood.
Rashmika fell prey to deepfake material when a video of a woman entering a lift circulated online.
The face of the woman was morphed into that of Rashmika Mandanna.
In reality, the woman was revealed to be Zara Patel, a social media personality.
Rashmika opened up about the problems Indian society currently faces regarding such videos.
She explained: “Deepfakes have been around for a while, and we’ve normalised them, but it isn’t okay.
“I always wondered who would even care if I chose to speak up and point out that it isn’t okay.
“So, I’m glad people from across the film industries have supported me.
“I understand now how important it is to speak up.
“I want to urge women to take the help they need when it happens.”
Urging women to speak up, Rashmika added:
“I want to tell all girls out there that this is not normal.
“When something is affecting you, you don’t have to keep quiet.”
Following the release of the deepfake clip, Rashmika said:
“Today, as a woman and as an actor, I am thankful for my family, friends and well-wishers who are my protection and support system.
“We need to address this as a community and with urgency before more of us are affected by such identity theft.”
Many of Rashmika’s colleagues rushed to her support.
Her Goodbye co-star Amitabh Bachchan said the incident required legal action.
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) was undertaking steps to ensure swift notifications of IT rule breaches.
He said: “Meity will put in place a platform through which the aggrieved people can very easily notify the ministry about the violations.
“Also, a mechanism will be designed to by the ministry that will assist them in filing FIRs.”
In November 2023, the Delhi Police filed an FIR over Rashmika’s case.
Meanwhile, Zara Patel asserted that she was “disturbed” and “upset” by the video.
On the work front, Rashmika Mandanna will be seen as Geetanjali Singh in Animal.